With the Christmas shopping season going hot and heavy, remember that under state law, gift cards and gift certificates from individual merchants do not expire.

Check to make sure that gift cards don't have expiration dates printed on them. Some people who are not aware of the Montana law, throw gift cards away if they think they have expired.

Under Montana law, if they have less than $5 on them, but were originally valued at over $5, they can be redeemed for cash. Those issued from a shopping center or a pre paid credit card, is not considered a gift certificate. But are valid for at least 5 years.